1 Oct 2003
Ferrari’s replacement for its 456M came in the controversial shape of the Pininfarina-penned 612 Scaglietti, named after a famous Ferrari coachbuilder.
It featured an all-aluminium space frame chassis and bodywork, which contributed to a 60kg overall weight reduction over its predecessor, despite being substantially larger. It was also 60 per cent more structurally rigid.
Power came courtesy of a 5.7-litre V12 engine sited behind the front axle. Combined with the rear-mounted gearbox, the 612 offered 46 per cent front/54 per cent weight distribution.
Quicker and faster than the outgoing 456M, the 612 produced a maximum of 402kW at 7250rpm and 588Nm at 5250rpm, which were good enough to propel it to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 315km/h.
In June 2008, a facelifted version made an appearance, with small but significant mechanical and equipment updates.
The most obvious of these were new “Challenge” 20-inch ball-polished alloy wheels wrapped around carbon-ceramic brake discs, which became standard on all other Ferraris in October 2007.
A self-tinting electrochromatic glass panel replaced the roof and could allow between five and 95 per cent of light to enter the cabin - either automatically or at the touch of a button.
The biggest mechanical changes involved the transmission and suspension, the latter of which came in the previously optional GTS tune and was claimed to provide greater control and sharper steering.
The transmission was upgraded to Ferrari’s F1 SuperFast gearbox, said to reduce gearshift times to just 100 milliseconds yet also be smooth enough to befit Ferrari’s grown-up GT.
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